If Dandelions Could Speak

Where the cinderblock of the coffee shop
meets the pavement of the parking lot,
there in that infertile groove
a lonely dandelion grows,
face spread to the sun.

Lift up your heart;
I lift it to the Lord.
Let us give thanks
to Lord our God;
It is right to give him
thanks and praise.

It is right to praise him, she says,
for the redeeming acts of love,
for the fertility of chance
and the life that brims
from the dust
of foundation



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  • Hi Seth – I saw this posted on Twitter just now; it is so good. The words “infertile groove” are perfect, and I love your image of life in the dusty cracks. The words also caught my eye because I wrote the following about a week ago. I’m not sure I consider it finished, but I thought I would share it with you anyway, because of the serendipity of our thoughts about talking dandelions.


    Before dusk, as traffic thins out and the city readies
    for sleep, the line painters swoop down with paint tanks
    and stencils and start to work. Their art demands

    both patience and speed, both firm steadiness of hands
    and quick steps, as they move swiftly across
    the parking lot, changing lines and arrows chipped

    by time and use into fresh, precise demarcations.
    And I ask myself, isn’t this what I need, this clarity
    of direction, this straight, sharp-edged conviction?

    Shouldn’t I stay in my lane, not drift beyond
    the boundary into some unknown landscape, where
    questions threaten all my safe, rulered certainties?

    Finished, the painters speed off without a word – but
    there between the luminous white lines a dandelion
    pushes defiantly through a crack in the blacktop.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to recognize me –
    this familiar, ugly-beautiful nuisance – and say
    “Lines lie on the surface; growth works underneath.”

    Darkness now fallen in earnest, I walk off, the edge
    between faith and doubt less precise than I ever expected
    before a weed spoke my name from a cranny in the pavement.

    • sethhaines

      Thanks so much for sharing this. I loved reading it, especially the line about faith and doubt.